“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick told NFL Media in an exclusive interview after the game. “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder”
I find it disheartening that the protest started by Colin Kaepernick by not standing during our National Anthem has turned into something about the National Anthem itself (apparently about one of the verses) and race alone. Many people are saying “change the anthem and the kneeling will stop” which is not true. (If “Jingle Bells” were the national anthem and “I Love Hamburgers” were our flag there would still be protests.) The protests, if I’m understanding correctly, are about injustice. Race was cited because of the recent examples related to police brutality and the specifics of the cases at that time. And, as usual, those with other agendas (such as to further divide our country along racial lines) jumped on the band wagon and turned the whole thing into a race only issue. Unfortunately, others joined in to champion that particular cause thereby diverting the course of the movement away from justice to pit North Americans against each other. Sadly, the seeds planted by Colin Kaepernick were cultivated to flourish on the vines of racial division and to wither and die on the trees of justice.
As long as we continue making the problems in our country exclusively a racial issue then we are only going to move further in the wrong direction. It’s going to take all of us on the side of “doing the right thing for the right reason” to truly change our country for the better. (written for webbwisdom.com on 12/9/2017)
I am not naïve enough to believe that racial discrimination is not a real problem in North America. I am intelligent enough, however, to understand that demonizing one race will not, in any way, result in glorifying another one. We do not have to blow out the lamps of one group to make the lights of another group shine brighter.